Local jobless rate drops to 10.2 percent

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

Iberville's unemployment rate dropped nearly a percentage point between June and July from 11.1 percent to 10.2, according to the latest report from the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The number of people in the local workforce also dropped over the month, the figures showed.

The local jobless rate continues to be higher than those of the nation, the state and Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical area. The national rate edged up a tenth of a point to 9.7 percent, indicating the rise in the number of unemployed form 15.1 million to 14.8 million.

Both the state rate and the nine-parish Baton Rouge MSA, of which Iberville is a part, dipped from 8.3 to 7.6 percent. Iberville's rate was second highest to St. Helena Parish's, which stood at 14 percent. West Baton Rouge had an 8.8 percent rate, and Pointe Coupee, 8.9 percent.

Iberville and St. Helena are among 16 Louisiana parishes with double-digit unemployment, the worst in East Carroll Parish, where the jobless rate was 15.6 percent. Lafourche Parish, with a five percent rate, continued to have the lowest unemployment in the state.

In July, Iberville had a workforce of 12,963, including 1,322 unemployed workers, compared to 13,010, including 1,439 jobless in June, a decrease of 47 jobs overall. In July 2009, when the rate was 11.1 percent, the workforce stood at 12,921, including 1,436 unemployed workers.